Silhouette Photography is an excellent way to add drama, mood and mystery to a photo. The dark mysterious shape/outline of a subject in front of a lighter background will convey a sense of unknown that can easily draw a viewer in and give them a deeper connection to your image.
I love shooting silhouettes and try to photograph them every chance I get! Luckily, taking silhouette photos is a fairly simple and straightforward technique and is really all about being in the right place at the right time with the right gear and knowledge of how to use it.
So, whether you are trying to get one last shot in before the evening light fades or you just want to learn how to convey the drama of a silhouette at any time of day, here are 7 easy tips to help you take an amazing silhouette photo:
1. Choose a Bold Subject and Composition
Anything can be made into a silhouette with the right lighting, but certain subjects will stand out more than others. Make sure your subject is distinct, with a recognizable shape that will be of interest to the viewer!
If you are photographing people in silhouette, make sure they are separate enough from each other and also from any other elements in the frame that they could “blend in” with. For example, if you are photographing a family silhouette and they are all standing right next to each other, the silhouette will turn into an indistinct blob. For a nice silhouette, have them stand with enough space in-between to show each person’s individual features. Positioning them for a side view is also a good idea, so viewers can recognize more of the subjects profile and facial features.
Try to look for simple compositions with wide open backgrounds, defined lines and minimal clutter, so that the silhouette will be the main focus of the image